Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Humira Kicking Ass for Abbott

Abbott Laboratories Inc on Wednesday posted a quarterly profit in line with expectations, driven by higher sales of its drugs and medical devices and favorable foreign exchange factors that bolstered overseas revenue.

Abbott posted a fourth-quarter profit of $1.20 billion, or 77 cents per share. That compared with a loss of $476 million, or 31 cents per share, in the year-ago period when the company took charges related to its purchase of Kos Pharmaceuticals.
Excluding special items, Abbott earned 93 cents per share, in line with the company's forecast of 91 to 93 cents per share.

Company revenue jumped 16 percent to $7.22 billion in the quarter, above the $6.96 billion average forecast of analysts polled by Reuters Estimates. Growth would have been 4.5 percentage points less if not for the weak dollar, which boosted the value of sales outside the United States.

The suburban Chicago-based health-care company said global revenue from prescription medicines rose 18.7 percent, fueled by double-digit gains for its Humira arthritis drug, Kaletra HIV treatment and TriCor medicine to lower blood fats called triglycerides.
Abbott, which is based in suburban Chicago, forecast that sales of Humira will rise to $4 billion in 2008 as the injectable drug makes further inroads against Johnson & Johnson's popular Enbrel. All three medicines work by blocking an inflammation-causing protein called tumor necrosis factor.

Global sales of Abbott's medical products, including diagnostics and diabetes-care brands, rose 11.5 percent.

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